Bee Lives Matter

Just when honeybees need all the help they can get, the Naperville city council voted 7 to 2 against the benefits they provide. The vote came as no surprise, given the council’s tendency to choose the wrong side of right on most issues of importance. Councilmen Kevin Coyne and John Krummen, both two-year council members up for re-election next spring, voted ‘no’ to the ordinance. Krummen saying, he doesn’t know what problem is trying to be fixed, and Coyne saying he doesn’t understand ‘why we’re getting into this’. He went on to correctly say, “all we are doing is adding bureaucracy”.

When the Naperville city council is given the opportunity to regulate just about anything, they jump at the chance. This time it was one resident’s objection to her bird bath being used to quench the thirst of some honey bees. You wouldn’t think much water would be consumed by a few honeybees, but apparently this resident must be living the good life, if that’s considered a problem. Ah, the life of a suburbanite in Naperville.

Leave it to the Naperville city council to rush in and save the day. It really has nothing to do with helping one resident, it’s all about the Naperville city council’s insatiable need to regulate. Regulation results in ordinances, which result in fines and fees being levied against residents, which result in more money for city officials to squander with more unwise decisions, and more lawsuits being filed against the City of Naperville.

Naperville city officials are still in court wasting our tax dollars by trying to defend the indefensible, including class-action lawsuits involving Smart Meters, and overcharging for garbage pick-up. Other class-action lawsuits against the City looming on the horizon include, faulty water meters overcharging residents, and Smart Meters not accurately reading electric usage, resulting in higher electric bills.

The hope when this city council was elected, was that they would lead and manage the City as though it was a successful business. But the addictive nature of government regulation and bureaucracy is too tempting to resist, and time and again this Naperville city council can’t contain itself from intrusion in the lives of others.

Naperville has been around since 1831, that’s 185 years and honeybees have never been a problem. Now they are a problem. The problem is not that there are too many, it’s that there are too few, and with the blessing of the city council, there will be fewer. The Naperville city council has little regard for the fact that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has recently officially classified bees as an endangered species.

Honeybee keepers who violate the new ordinance will be fined up to $500 for each offense. If anybody thinks that’s going to attract more honeybee keepers, they might want to still bet on Cleveland beating the Cubs in this year’s World Series.

Considering the financial hole that Naperville city officials have dug, it’s not too far fetched for Naperville’s honeybee keepers to be charged a tax someday for the honey their hives produce. Yes, I know it’s only a couple of bucks the City will get, but if the City is losing a couple of bucks from taxes not generated from the sale of honey in grocery stores, the City is going to want those couple of bucks.

Remember it was earlier this year when the Naperville city council voted to charge residents, and worthwhile, financially-stretched groups a fee to use meeting rooms at the Municipal Center. Give Naperville city officials an opportunity to squeeze dollars out of residents, and they will jump on it like bees on honey.

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  1. Jim Haselhorst

    I understand some people are allergic to bees and therefore they are scare. But in my 56 years I have only been stung by a bee once and that was a bee I had stepped on while running around barefoot in the yard. I also can appreciate the esthetics argument but a simple privacy fence around the hives can solve that problem. This does seem like more city over reach and a situation better handled by neighbors talking to one another rather then another city ordinance.

    In the case of a large number of hives on any given property I would think the city could handle these on a case by case bases as a non-conforming business operating on a residential zoned property.

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